While most crime is down in New York City during the coronavirus lockdown, burglaries are the exception. They were up approximately 22% in March. The City That Never Sleeps is not the only city dealing with an uptick in burglaries. Towns and cities across the country have experienced the same trend.
Seattle Police Department officers say the number of reports of burglaries of local businesses has doubled amid the stay-at-home order. Police said they received 104 reports of burglaries compared to 54 during the same time last year.
Boulder police reported an increase in business and vehicle break-ins for March. Police believe the spike is due to decreased activity and foot traffic because of restrictions due to new coronavirus.
Boulder police spokeswoman Laurie Ogden said the city record 23 burglaries at businesses over January and February, but 30 cases in March.
The Kennewick Police Department in Washington have investigated 70 burglaries this year, which is triple the amount of the last two years. Half of these burglaries happened in March.
Luther Krueger, a criminal prevention specialist for the Minneapolis Police Department, posted on the Nextdoor online community about an “uptick in business burglaries, possibly due to many businesses with reduced staff or being closed and unoccupied following the local emergency declaration.”
Department spokesman John Elder said they are also concerned about a potential increase in delivery driver robberies and package thefts as online orders surge with households stocking up.
“It’s not uncommon for our officers to follow package delivery drivers for a few blocks.” he said.
In Minneapolis, there were 320 property crimes during the seven-day period ending March 24, which is an increase over the average of 285 during the same time period the past two years. The biggest increase was in auto thefts. Business burglaries has made up a greater share of those crimes, the data show. Robberies have also increased.
Police in Vancouver, Washington have also seen an increase in burglaries in the last few weeks when compared to the same time last year.
Between March 15 and March 28, 20 commercial burglaries were reported. During that time period in 2019, there were only 4.
Now is an important time for business owners to take extra measures to ensure they do not become a victim of burglar. While closed during the lockdown, keep the lights on at night, and be sure to check on your property regularly.